Politics

Hungary’s Viktor Orbán slammed over remarks Ukraine will continue fighting ‘as long as US is supporting them'

Related video: French Defence Minister Sébastien Lecornu arrives in Kyiv to boost support

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Viktor Orbán, the prime minister of Hungary, has faced international condemnation after claiming Ukrainians can only fight the ongoing Russian invasion as long as the US continues to provide financial support and weapons.

The comments, made during an interview with the Hungarian newspaper MagyarNemzet, come after Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky made his first trip outside of the country to the US last week, and the nation’s foreign minister Dymtro Kuleba expressed his desire for peace talks by the end of February.

Speaking to the outlet, Orbán responded to a point that the war could “still last a long time” by saying: “This danger is possible. At the same time though, Ukraine can only continue fighting as long as the United States is supporting them with money and weapons.

“If the Americans want peace, then there will be peace.”

The same conversation also saw Orbán make the bizarre claim that the country is “on the side of Hungary” amid the Russian-Ukrainian war, adding that in terms of whether the state is on “the good or bad side of history” in relation to the conflict, the nation is on “the Hungarian side of history”.

He continued: “We support and help Ukraine, we have an interest in the survival of a sovereign Ukraine, and we have an interest in Russia not posing a security threat to Europe. However, we have no interest in surrendering all our economic relations with Russia.

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“These questions we view with Hungarian spectacles, not with someone else’s.”

Orbán’s comments received sharp criticism from the Ukrainian foreign ministry, which said they “demonstrate a pathological disregard for Ukraine and the Ukrainian people who are fighting against the Russian aggression, as well as his own political short-sightedness”.

“After all, the defeat of Ukraine in the war, which Viktor Orbán indirectly calls for, would lead to a direct threat of Russian aggression to Hungary and the Hungarian people,” it said.

It added the Hungarian PM should “ask himself if he wants peace”, and use his “close ties with Moscow” to get them to withdraw troops if the answer is yes.

Other politicians across Europe also slammed Orbán’s remarks, with Belgian MEP and former Brexit coordinator Guy Verhofstadt branding the prime minister a “traitor”.

Pavel Telička, a Czech MEP and former vice president of the European parliament, dubbed Orbán a “Russian Trojan horse” who is a “disgrace of the EU”.

“Time to dump hypocrisy in the EU and take appropriate measures,” he added.

One Twitter user pointed out the ridiculousness of the PM’s comments by responding: “’If you don’t feed the starving, the famine will end.’ So true – no one left to feel hunger.”

Another suggested: “If Orbán would stop being the prime minister, Hungary wouldn’t be seen as a clown anymore and be taken seriously.”

After all, his comments on how to stop the war sure are laughable.

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